Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, December 10, 2010

Eastern claims Petron blocking Subic facility

OIL retailer Eastern Petroleum Corp. yesterday accused Petron Corp. of “bullying” and blocking the opening of Eastern’s “mega facility” at Subic free port.

Eastern Petroleum President Ferdinand L. Martinez told reporters he had received information from Subic that the firm’s 4,000-square-meter facility near Petron’s own station is being blocked because of an exclusivity clause in Petron’s lease agreement with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Administration (SBMA).

“We are seeing monopolistic tendencies from Petron. The biggest station so far of our company is being blocked by Petron and the SBMA is suddenly not granting us building permits. According to SBMA there is an exclusivity clause with Petron,” said Mr. Martinez.

He noted that Eastern Petroleum had been allowed by the SBMA board to build its facility but the company’s application for a building permit has been pending since May.

Petron, which has a 3,000-square-meter facility in Subic, said yesterday its contract should be honored.

“Petron welcomes competition which is the true spirit of deregulation.

When we invested in Subic almost a decade ago, there was a provision approved by the SBMA board stating that no similar business would be established within an 800-meter radius of our facility. This is standard for many investment locations,” Petron spokeswoman Charmaine V. Canillas said in a statement.

Mr. Martinez pointed out that a smaller gas station of PTT is located near Petron’s facility.

Eastern Petroleum plans to bring the issue to the Department of Energy. “We have already invested P50 million into the mega station,” said Mr. Martinez. -- Emilia Narni J. David -- bworldonline.com

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